As we approach the winter holiday season many families will be posing for family photos. Some families may choose professional photo shoots while other do-it-yourselfers enjoy taking photos of their own. Either way, all of them will be precious memories of this special year. Get the most out of your shots this year with our tips for family photos:
Where you take your photos will have a big impact on the results. Most photographers agree that natural lighting is best when possible. If the weather permits, outside your home, at a park, at a high elevation overlooking a cityscape, or at a cool outdoor space are ideal places for family photos. If the weather does not cooperate, try an indoor spot near windows that will allow natural light to shine through. When you or your photographer select a location, look at the entirety of the backdrop to make sure you like what you see.
Tip #2: Wardrobe
Completely matching outfits from head-to-toe are unnecessary but do coordinate colors. Even if you choose neutrals, add a few pops of color to brighten your photos. Lay out everyone’s outfits together before the photo shoot so you can decide if you need to make any changes. Also consider what shoes everyone will wear and iron or steam the clothes prior to your photo day. Keep in mind, kids who are uncomfortable will not take great photos so involve your family in wardrobe decisions to ensure everyone likes their outfit.
Tip #3: Set-up for Success
Talk to older kids about taking family photos before the session begins so they know what to expect. Offer them plenty of playtime before and promise more playtime afterwards so they understand the posing and stillness are only temporary. Make sure everyone is well-fed and well-rested before taking family photos. This may mean you’re working around meal times and nap times when coordinating the shoot.
Tip #4: Use Props
Props can add a fun element to your photos and keep younger kids interested and occupied during the family photo shoot. Props such as pinwheels, flowers, leaves, umbrellas, paper airplanes, stuffed animals or another favorite toy are great ideas. Consider an appearance from your family pet in some photos too.
Tip #5: Have Fun
You may have an image of everyone calm and smiling at the camera for your family photos but with young children, and especially babies, that may be unrealistic. Keep your expectations in check and have fun with your family photo shoot. Some of the best shots may be the unexpected moments when you’re all just having fun. Jumping, giving kisses and laughing after a joke are great ways to create a fun feeling in your photos, while actually having fun!
Tip #6: Take Breaks
Kids especially need breaks during long family photo shoots. It’s hard for children to stand still and follow directions so give them periodic breaks to run around and get some energy out. Hopefully they will return to the shoot refreshed and ready to smile for the camera. Adults may need breaks too so pace yourselves so everyone has a little breathing room.
Tip #7: Get a Helper
Having an extra set of hands available can be extremely helpful when you have younger kids. A friend, neighbor or grandparent can help you get everyone ready and take kids away for a break when others have their turn in front of the camera. Also, a helper can stand behind the photographer to get younger family members to look towards the camera. For babies, toddlers and preschoolers, have a basket of bright and noisy toys that the helper can use to elicit smiles.
We hope you take gorgeous photos this year with our tips for family photos. Happy Holidays!